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Herd volleyball rallies for first win of season

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Sydney Shelton
Junior libero Amber Weber communicates with her teammates in between points. She acts as a roaming defender for the Herd.

Marshall volleyball secured a 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-23, 15-7) victory over Morehead State Tuesday in Gullickson Gymnasium. With the win, Marshall moved to a win-loss record of 1-3, while Morehead State moved to 3-1.

“It was a great fight,” Marshall head coach Mitch Jacobs said. “We were down 0-1, then down 1-2, and to come back and win just shows a lot of character of our kids.”

After dropping set one, Marshall established a 4-0 lead to begin set two. After an attack error by Morehead State, Marshall junior libero Amber Weber returned with an ace, and redshirt sophomore outside Ciara DeBell added two kills. The 4-0 lead was enough to get the Herd started. However, Marshall allowed Morehead State to come back and tie the set at 10. Marshall retaliated, though, with two more DeBell kills and a kill by senior middle Lauren Mattmuller. Marshall maintained the lead and took set two 21-25.

The third set was back-and-forth, but the Herd was unable to win the set and Morehead State reestablished the lead.

“With 10 new kids in a program, they are not going to finish every time we think they should,” Jacobs said. “We have to keep going for it because that’s going to become more consistent and they are going to become more confident. We have some great, young players and more than that, we have good kids.”

The Herd was down 2-1 heading into the fourth set and Morehead State was one set away from match victory. Marshall, however, claimed victory in both sets by establishing and maintaining early leads. In set five, six Eagle errors and seven Herd kills propelled Marshall to victory.

DeBell entered Tuesday with 35 total kills this season. With her season-high 32 kills against Morehead State, she nearly doubled her season total. DeBell also had eight digs, two aces and two blocks.

“(DeBell) was pretty incredible,” Jacobs said. “It took a lot of heart to keep going after it and carrying the team offensively. Anytime we were not passing well or making digs she kept picking us up. It was a huge performance. I don’t remember the last kid that had 30 kills for us in a match.”

“I feel pretty good, honestly but I could not have done it without the other five players on the court. The make it so easy,” DeBell said.

Junior libero Amber Weber and freshman setter Gabrielle Coulter were also key players for the win. Weber had a total of 21 digs, bringing her to 53 on the season, and added a service ace. Coulter had 52 assists, bringing her to 136 assists on the season.

“I think Amber Weber is just controlling the court,” Jacobs said. “She is doing a great job in terms of making sure people know what they are supposed to be doing and when they are supposed to be doing it.

The Herd’s next match will be on the campus of Loyola Chicago Friday against Georgia State.

Sydney Shelton can be contacted at [email protected]

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